It used to be taboo… but now it’s a trend.

And if you’re looking for a way to calm the mental chatter, focus, and get through your day with less stress, there aren’t many things you can do that are more impactful than meditation.

But if you don’t have a practice, where do you start?

And if you do, how do you improve and keep it from getting stale?

Each year, our Meditation Award goes out to the one meditation teacher, practitioner, or organization that bring the most genuine, approachable, and effective method to an age-old practice.

So we’re proud to announce the winner of 2016 and the rest of the nominees for for 2017…

Winner for 2016

Trained as a medical doctor, Deepak Chopra turned to transcendental meditation and holistic Ayurvedic practices. As an author, public speaker, and alternative medicine advocate, he is among the most prominent figures in the New Age movement. Through his books and videos, he has become one of the best-known and wealthiest figures in alternative medicine. Partnering with neurologist David Simon, he set up the Chopra Center for Well-being in 1996. The center promotes the belief that individuals can reach perfect health through control of the mind, yoga, and some Western medicine. Its meditation techniques are clearly detailed on its website

Nominees for 2017

Tara Brach

Psychologist Tara Brach is the guiding teacher and founder of the Buddhist meditation center, the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC. Specializing in applying Buddhist teaching to emotional healing, she offers a weekly onsite meeting in Bethesda, MD, online courses in meditation, mindfulness, and other helpful topics, and a weekly blog. She has written several books about how to tap into inner peace, wisdom, and mindfulness in the face of trauma and difficulty

Kristin Neff

A Buddhist in the Insight Meditation tradition, Kristin Neff emphasizes a major tenant of Buddhism, self-compassion in the face of discovering flaws or failure. As the first person to conduct academic research on this topic, she developed scales to measure self-compassion. She emphasizes that change should come because you care about yourself, not because you feel worthless or unacceptable. Her mindful self-compassion practices are available online and in workshops, while readers can receive daily meditations by email.

Anmol Mehta

A certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher, Certified Kids Yoga Teacher, a Certified Hypnotherapist, and a master of Yoga Numerology and Ayurveda, Anmol Mehta offers the largest and most comprehensive free meditation and Yoga portal on the web. Users can take free online yoga and meditation classes in a variety of styles and at increasing level.

Sean Fargo

Sean Fargo specializes in coaching individuals and teams about mindfulness skills that can be helpful for organizational growth. The science-based mindfulness programs are helpful in promoting focus and energy into organizational culture and increasing self-awareness, self-control, emphasis, and leadership skills. Members come away with a new sense of personal accountability for progress toward goals and techniques for integrating mindfulness into all aspects of life.

Eklavya

Named for a mythical character, Eklayva offers simple meditation techniques for busy people. Through the Meditation Is Easy website, users can learn the basics of different types of meditation, based on both ancient texts and modern theories. Articles and blogs on the website, free book downloads, and a newsletter emphasize that meditation can help anyone benefit from meditation, regardless of how busy they are.

Wee Peng Ho

An advocate of a healthy lifestyle, Wee Pong Ho promotes a holistic approach to life. Rather than relying on drugs to treat physical ailments, he suggests looking at aspects of life such as mind, body, and spirit to address the root causes of your problems. Through not only meditation, but by changing your diet to foods that fight inflammation and promote health, you can feel better and put yourself on the road to improved physical, mental, and spiritual wellness.

Davidji

Best-selling author Davidji is an internationally known meditation teacher, corporate trainer, and stress management expert. His 21-day meditation program inspired many similar approaches. Davisdji, who apprenticed at the Choppra Center after a long career in business, encourages people to function at higher levels become less reflexive and more reflective, make better decisions, sleep better, improve relationships, and experience abundance while living purpose-driven lives. Through his SweetSpot Community, he offers free weekly guided meditations and meditation tips, as well as teacher training and appearances at events.

Susan Piver

Author, teacher, and speaker Susan Piver is a proponent of the Shambhala school of Buddhism that stresses the innate wakefulness of human beings who strive to live in an enlightened society and exhibit fearlessness, dignity, and compassion. This philosophy embraces people of all faiths. Through personal seminars, books, blogs, and her online meditation center, the Open Heart Project, she shows how meditation is not just a practice, but a way of being in the world.

Chris Willitts

Proponent of vegetarian bodybuilding, Chris Willitts blends mindfulness into a moving meditation with a mind body system. His own experiences led him toward a plant-based vegetarian lifestyle; contrary to many bodybuilders who sacrifice health for appearance, he cites research that shows how eating plants and creating harmony within the body are the best directions for fitness. His V3 online program shows followers how to combine meditation and plant-based nutrition with bodybuilding and fitness, even if they are not ready to commit to full-time vegetarianism.

Giovanni Dienstmann

Now in his thirties, Giovanni Dienstmann, creator of the Live and Dare program, has sought personal growth and the deeper meaning of life since he was a teenager and has practiced over 7000 hours of meditation as a tool for surpassing fear, attachment, and ignorance. He imparts his success in learning to live a peaceful, fearless, and fulfilling life through his website which offers online courses, free guided meditations, and a blog, through a Quora page, the offers over 400 answers to questions about meditation, and through personal coaching. His philosophy is “Master your mind, master your life.”

Duccio Manfredi

A life coach, Reiki practitioner, and enthusiast of both yoga and self-healing meditation, Duccio Manfredi offers tips for personal happiness based on his own life journey. He promotes meditation, mindfulness, and gratitude as helps to maintaining a positive approach to life through his website, with its free downloads, newsletter, and blog.

Jack Kornfield

A prominent author of over 10 books about Buddhism, mindfulness, and psychology, Jack Kornfield is a clinical psychologist as well as a Buddhist monk and cofounder of the Meditation Society. Through his website, he offers free downloads and frequent updates, along with online courses, podcasts, videos, and audios to help you feel inner peace and harmony with your surroundings. As an international meditation teacher since 1974, he has been instrumental in introducing the Buddhist practice of mindfulness to the Western world.

Luke Miller

Luke Miller, who claims that he came to meditation accidentally, shares his insights about spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional health. In his Potential for Change blog, he presents himself as a “spiritual life hacker” who uses everything from meditation, visualization, and being conscious to watching game of thrones to achieve enlightenment. Offering free articles, free reports, and a blog, he encourages people to use what’s around them to create the best possible life for themselves.

Jackie Trottmann

Founder of the Christian meditation site The Guided Life, Jackie Trottman came to meditation after 30 years in a business career that left her spiritually bankrupt. Through meditation, she learned of the value of stillness, which allowed her tor a relationship with God. Her website offers direction for Christians interested in incorporating meditation into their spiritual life by offering a free e-zine, paid guided meditations, and opportunities to sign up for corporate training.